Homeopathic remedies can complement Western cancer treatments.
The treatment of canine cancer has come to mimic the treatment of human cancer, with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy standard protocol for most forms of the disease. According to Dr. R.M. Clemmons of the University of Florida’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Services, Western cancer therapies can offer from one to 18 months relief from the disease, but adding traditional Eastern therapies can lengthen that time span and bring the pet closer to normal health. Homeopathy is rooted in traditional Eastern practices and involves using herbs to boost the immune system and slow or reverse the progression of cancer. Always consult your vet before giving your dog any type of supplement or herb.
Echinacea is an immune-booster.
Echinacea comes from the purple coneflower, and is part of traditional Native American medicine. The herb is sold dried or in pill or tincture form, and has well-established immune-boosting properties. Follow the instructions on the label for adult dosing.
Astragalus has anti-viral properties.
Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, astralagus is a member of the pea family. The root–either dried or in a tincture–has both immune-boosting and anti-viral properties. The adult dose listed on the label is sufficient for your dog.
Red clover can slow the tumor’s growth.
Red clover is useful in slowing the growth of tumors. It also encourages proper lymphatic drainage, which is important for the efficient flushing of cell tissue. It is available as a pill, tea or tincture, and should be given according to the adult dosing instructions on the bottle.
Taken from the bark of trees in the South American rain forest, pau d’arco has been shown to have strong anti-cancer properties and also reduces inflammation, according to Dr. Clemmons. Sold in pill or tincture form, it should be given at the adult dose for large dogs. For medium and small dogs, give one-half or one-quarter the adult dose, respectively.
Cat’s claw is a vine found in Peruvian rain forests that has reportedly caused tumor remission in neurological cancers, and may be somewhat effective against other types of cancer as well. It is available in pill form; large dogs get a full dose, while medium and small dogs get one-half and one-quarter of the adult dose, respectively.
Reiki and maitake mushrooms activate the body’s natural anti-tumor cells and prevent the destruction of cells responsible for immunity. These mushrooms are most commonly available as a tincture. Large dogs can receive the adult dose listed on the label, while medium dogs need one-half of the adult dose, and small dogs one-quarter.
Milk thistle protects the liver.
Milk thistle protects the liver from the toxic effects of chemotherapy, as well as the by-products of tumor growth itself. Dr. Clemmons recommends giving your dog one capsule, twice daily.
Garlic helps the body fight the tumor.
Garlic is a known immune-booster, making tumor-fighting cells multiply. Feed your dog one fresh clove of garlic per 30 pounds of body weight every other day. If he refuses to eat it, try adding 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder to his food every other day instead. Do not give garlic to anemic dogs or dogs about to undergo surgery, or complications involving red blood cell disorders could result.
Green tea is an antioxidant.
Green tea has both antioxidant and astringent properties, and is especially beneficial to dogs with stomach or skin cancer. Sold as a pill or tincture, green tea can be given to your dog according to the adult dosing instructions on the bottle.
Shark cartilage “starves” tumors.
Although the harvesting of shark fins is not ecologically sound, increasing evidence indicates that shark cartilage supplements can prevent the formation of blood vessels in tumors, thereby “starving” them. When a tumor is not getting adequate blood supply, it may shrink and greatly reduce the risk of metastasis. Results have been mixed, and it is not known which particular cancers respond to shark cartilage; so, although it won’t harm your pet, it may not help. A daily dose of 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams is sufficient for most dogs.